Nearly all (98%) internet users in the UK would not be willing to pay the estimated £140 that it would cost each of them if the internet was not supported by digital advertising, new research has revealed.
In a survey that also found high levels of ad avoidance, video ad platform Ebuzzing based its estimate on a division of the UK’s digital adspend in 2013 (£6.4bn) by the number of UK internet users (45m), the Telegraph reported.
Based on the responses of 1,400 UK consumers, the study concluded that they are prepared to accept ads to avoid paying an extra £140, which is roughly equivalent to the compulsory BBC licence fee.
But that does not mean UK consumers warm to ads as they use the internet, Ebuzzing warned.
It found nearly two-thirds (63%) skip video ads “as quickly as possible”, which rises to 75% among 16-24 year olds, and 16% of all internet users employ ad blocking software.
Furthermore, over a quarter of all respondents said they mute their sound and one-in-five scroll away from a video, leading Ebuzzing to warn advertisers that they need to improve their formats.
“It’s clear the ad industry has a major role to play in keeping web content free, but we have to respond to what consumers are telling us,” said Jeremy Arditi, UK managing director at Ebuzzing.
“We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting,” he added. “That means introducing new formats which consumers find less invasive, more creative ads that are better placed, and giving consumers a degree of choice and control.”
More positively, the report also found that just over a third (34%) of respondents would be more likely to watch online video ads if they are personally relevant while one-in-five are open to “being able to select the ad I watch”.